MOUNTAINS, MONKS AND BOOKS
This tour takes place in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park in the Black Mountains range. It is a fabulous part of the National Park with fine mountain scenery including the highest road in Wales, medieval buildings, the famous book town of Hay-on-Wye, the ancient capital of Brycheiniog and South Wales' largest natural lake.
The tour starts at your accommodation within the National Park or at Abergavenny railway station (allowing you to do it as a day trip from several UK cities including Cardiff and London).
Duration: 10am - 6pm
Number of places: 2 - 6
Gospel Pass, the highest road in Wales
Addyman Books in Hay-on-Wye
View of Llangorse Lake and the Brecon Beacons. Photo taken on this tour
Abergavenny - We start at this historic town which has a railways station and is the 'Gateway to the Brecon Beacons'. Abergavenny grew up in Norman times but has been a site of settlement since the Romans.
Cwmyoy- This medieval church was built on a former landslide, that subsequently shifted again and is Wales' answer to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Llanthony Priory - These haunting remains are all that survives of one of the greatest buildings of medieval Wales. Dates back to 1100 and is situated in a glacial valley called the Vale of Ewyas.
Capel-y-Ffin - This hamlet situated near the head of the Vale of Ewyas has one of the smallest chapels in Wales.
Gospel Pass - The highest road in Wales, with spectacular views and glacial features. (If you are fit you can hike up to the top of Lord Hereford's Knob and back, 20 mins each way, for some of the finest views in the National Park).
Hay-on-Wye - The world capital of second hand book shops. See the sites of the two castles. Visit Addyman's Bookshop and have a 10% discount for being a member of this tour. We will have our picnic lunch at the Warren a beautiful river side spot just outside the town.
Bronllys Castle - Situated just outside the town of Talgarth the former capital of Brycheiniog, the castle built in 1144 boast excellent views of the Black Mountains and Castell Dinas which is the highest castle in England and Wales
Llanelieu Church or Pwll-y-Wrach Nature Reserve - Depending on the wishes of the group we will visit one or other of these two choices. Llanelieu is the medieval church of Saint Ellyw who was the saintly daughter of Brychan, King of Brycheiniog. The Church posses an exceptional example of a medieval rood screen dating from the 14th century, as well as medievil wall paintings. Pwll-y-Wrach is 17.5 hectares of beautiful ancient woodland and hosts the Witch's Pool waterfall. Dormice live in the reserve but are very hard to see. Important fish fossils have also been found at this site. Legend says in former times suspected witches were tried here by being dunked to see if they float. The path down to the waterfall is steep and muddy but only takes 10 minutes each way.
Llangorse Lake - This glacial lake is the largest natural lake in Wales. It also contains Wales' only Crannog which was a former royal residence for the kings of Brychieinog. It is also a great place to watch birds and has great views of the Beacons.
Tretower and Crickhowell Castles - On the way back to Abergavenny we drive past these two castles with good external views. Both castles can be fully explored on our Castles tour.